Wong, Taveras named to 2012 Futures Game

Taveras and Wong: A new reason to celebrate

The St. Louis Cardinals will have two Texas League All-Stars competing in the 2012 Futures Game, Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras.

From a system more known for its pitching depth, the St. Louis Cardinals will be represented by two of its brightest hitting stars at the 2012 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

Second baseman Kolten Wong has been named to the US squad while his Double-A Springfield Cardinals teammate Oscar Taveras will be among the outfielders on the World team.

The annual exhibition featuring many of the game's top prospects will be played at 5:00 P.M. Central on Sunday, July 8 at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium. Hall of Famer George Brett will manage the US Team and former Yankees star Bernie Williams will skipper the World Team. (Update: Full rosters here.)

Taveras
Since being named the third- (Taveras) and fourth-ranked (Wong) prospects in the Cardinals system by The Cardinal Nation during the off-season, all the two have done is exceed every test given them. Both were leapt over A-Advanced Palm Beach this season and have thrived in the Texas League, where they were among Springfield's six mid-season All-Stars (subscriber article).

Taveras, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Tuesday, leads the league with a .328 batting average and is second to Frisco's Mike Alt in both slugging (.588) and OPS (.973). The native of the Dominican Republic also holds the TL lead in doubles with 21, is third in RBI with 47 and tied for fourth in home runs in 13. His on-base mark of .385 is ninth. The left-handed hitter was voted the league's Player of the Week award for the period of June 4-10.

Wong
Wong, the Cardinals' first-round draft pick last June, is ninth in the league with a .298 average. In May, the Hawaiian resident amassed a 2012 team-best 15-game hitting streak. The left-handed hitter's on-base mark of .364 is 15th. Wong is tied with Taveras among others with four triples, fifth-most in the circuit. The 21-year-old is tied for ninth in the league with 12 stolen bases (in 15 attempts). He was named the league's Player of the Week from May 14-20.

Pitching had dominated the Cardinals' invitees to the Futures Game in the last two seasons, with top organizational prospect Shelby Miller having competed in both of the most recent two contests.

Futures Game participants, St. Louis Cardinals

US World
2006 none Jaime Garcia, LHP
2007 Bryan Anderson, C none
Colby Rasmus, OF
2008 Jess Todd, RHP Jaime Garcia, LHP *
Bryan Anderson, C Fernando Salas, RHP *
2009 Brett Wallace, 3B none
Daryl Jones, OF
2010 Shelby Miller, RHP Eduardo Sanchez, RHP
2011 Shelby Miller, RHP Carlos Martinez, RHP


* Jaime Garcia was unable to participate in the 2008 contest due to injury and was replaced by Fernando Salas.



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